Following reports that U.S. arts channel Ovation is looking to sell either part or all of its operations, Ovation’s VP of marketing, Patricia MacEwan, denies an outright sale is in the offing. However, she does confirm that the four-year-old network is looking for investors. ‘A sale and a partnership are two different things. Selling is not the company’s intent at the present time . . . what Ovation is doing is exploring potential strategic partnerships.’
Earlier this month, Broadcasting and Cable reported that Rainbow Programming in New York, owner of arts channel Bravo, had been approached by Ovation, but that Rainbow would only be interested in an outright purchase of the arts channel. Rainbow’s VP of communications, Chris Levesque, says she cannot comment on rumor and speculation, but adds that Bravo is definitely in a growth period.
Other companies that have been reported to be considering a deal with Ovation include L.A.-based USA Networks Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc.
While USA’s reps briskly declined comment, a pairing with Ovation would come as no surprise, since USA has made attempts to buy Bravo in the past and has investigated starting its own arts channel. DCI execs Petra Fioravanti (senior manager, corporate communications) and Donald Baer (executive VP, office of the president) deny DCI had any talks with Ovation, but did say they are keeping the doors open for further expansion into arts programming. The cablecaster currently has a stake in Fanfare, a classical music startup. Jenn Kuzmyk